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Welcome Dressage Aficionados

Welcome to my new blog - dressage diva central. Well - not really. While the haute couture from America and Europe will be avidly addressed, and there will be some 'whining' and 'wining' going on, let's learn how to sit better, ride better and feel better. Masters of art and of dressage have historically been men, so isn't it time to look at iconic women in our sport too. It was Karin Rehbein and Donnerhall that inspired me - yeah - hubby Hubert rocked too. Wanna visit Grunwoldhof but can't afford the airfare? I'll fill you in. Lots to share. Can't wait.

Before we get started. Reality sets in. Snow here in the mountains of beautiful New York State and my own herd of homebreds and home trained horses to care for ( including my Grand Prix Andalusian/DWBx featured above, stable name 'Tigger", because of his ever so bouncy springy legs), but must out and at it.

Please sign in to follow. Love sharing.  Meantime,  thought for the moment:-

"There's something about the outside of a horse, that is great for the inside of a (wo)man - " a paraphrase, thanks Winston Churchill - I don't think he'd mind.

Winston has always been a hero of mine. Last October I visited his home, in fact the room where he was born, at Blenheim Palace in the Oxfordshire countryside. I was so moved I actually shed a tear as I stood at the foot of his bed.  He wrote novels, was an artist of repute, rode horses and was a horse breeder and oh yes, he led a country through one of the most tumultuous times in history. Well - the first four I've emulated in my way. Pretty happy not to have endured the latter.  Have you seen the much acclaimed Steven Spielberg movie War Horse? Well Winston made a priority of retrieving horses from Europe after WWII, will post news on that later. Horses beckon.


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Can You Really Social Distance and Follow CDC In A Commercial Horse Barn?

There has been an amazing amount of misinformation and confusion concerning the lockdown rules during the Covid19 crisis and their interpretation as it pertains to commercial horse boarding operations, especially in New York State, where I reside.

In my opinion the NYS Department of Ag and its various councils have further added to the confusion by their on again/off again broadcasts and comments, writings and musings in regard to just what a horse owner and horse boarding farm owner can and can't do.
Compounded misinformation about insurance coverage, rules for social distancing, pop up social media pages attempting to help horse folks understand their rights and the issue at hand, abound.

I don't doubt that everyone is trying their level best to figure out a way to safely get horses and their owners back together. For the horse barn business owners the responsibility for the safety and health of their workforce and clients during Covid19 is a part of their daily…

Live Your Best Life ~ Loss Of Your Heart Horse

As many of you know we recently had to make one of the toughest decisions that any animal owner has to endure - euthanasia of a beloved pet. In our case our Grand Prix DWB horse Charrington WVH, aka Charlie.

We had owned him since a three year old. Recently gelded at that time and full of stallion antics, he knew nothing about riding and hubbie Paul and I enjoyed the 16 years of owning him and teaching him all about dressage. Both of our twins sat on him over the course of the years as young teens/adults for an occasional lesson, but throughout his life he was very much my horse. Everybody loved Charlie. He was the 'go to' horse for photos. Always completely trustworthy with neophyte horse visitors of all ages. Charlie never had an unsound day in his life, and was always willing to play and loved to be ridden. Never a colic, but an occasional choke that we were able to resolve without a vet visit, caused no doubt by his amazing vacuum abilities and cathedral like mouth.

In Spri…

Flying Changes Problems Answered

The fun to do, fun to train, dressage flying change is truly like dancing with your horse. Unfortunately all too often issues arise during training that make them less than perfect.

Major issues which are very common include swinging of the hindquarters ( which will cause lots of issues with tempi changes so be warned), changes that are late behind, swishing tails during the change, changes that are not forward, where the croup is high and the horse shows stiffness behind. In the latter event the horse will cover very little ground as he is not 'flying' through the change. Other issues that occur in training are running off after the change, bucking, coming above the bridle and the riders hand. Do not despair!

There is some discussion as to which leg should push hardest during the change and to whether there should be a lightening of the seat during the movement. From my experience and training, lightening the seat is to be avoided. Stay straight, do not collapse a hip and onl…